Montreal Superhospital Construction Delayed

Montreal Superhospital Construction Delayed

Construction of a $1.3 billion superhospital in Montreal is facing further delays as the contractor acknowledges it is behind schedule.

Construction of a $1.3 billion superhospital in the Quebec capital of Montreal is facing further delays after the contractor behind the project acknowledged it was behind schedule, media reports say.

According to a report in the Montreal Gazette, SNC-Lavalin chief executive officer Robert Card acknowledged the McGill University Health Care superhospital was behind schedule in a conference call with investors last Friday.

“There are delays on the project,” Card said, according to a transcript of the call. “There’s been a number of challenges without ascribing responsibility” he added, “but it’s a complex project and a number of things from the client side and our side need to come together to make sure it gets done. So we’re working with both parties to make sure that the project gets done and that the risks are fairly allocated for that. And the activation of the hospital for customers is not at all threatened at this point by any of that transaction.”

MUHC superhospital project

McGill University Health Centre. Images – MUHC

Though the firm did not specify what is behind the delays or their duration, ratings agency DBRS indicated last year it was concerned the research institute could be half a year behind schedule while the hospital could be four months behind, and MUHC chief executive officer Normand Rinfret has previously attributed some of past delays to late shipment delivery on the part of some suppliers of medical equipment.

Both the contractor and MUHC, however, insist the project will be delivered on schedule so that the first patients can be welcomed in the summer of 2015.

The delays are merely the latest in a series of dramas SNC has faced in recent times. In January, the RCMP alleged that its staff paid $160 million worth of bribes to secure business deals in Libya.

Even with regard to the current project, there have been accusations the company forged documents to secure work, leading to a significant management shake-up.

By Andrew Heaton
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